Monday, December 29, 2014

List of possible goals. Kind of.

Nick said he didn't have anything to write since we just talked to him.  I told him to give us something.  He gave us something alright.  It was good to see is smiling face on Christmas.  Happy New Year!

As far as this week, no one was home and we kind of aimlessly wandered around. Nothing like getting into the Christmas spirit than walking around the Mexican desert... 

  ...and almost getting killed by the cartel.(No he wasn't.  He told us this story on Christmas.  There were gunshots, but nothing at them.  Needless to say, they won't be going back to that house.) 

Other than that, Christmas was awesome! I got to talk to my family (one call left..)

Anyway so my Christmas message. Set goals for 2015. 

Here are some ideas(Don't take this seriously.  It's a list Nick has experienced or witnessed.  He's so cheeky)

Maybe it will be like, eat a habanero.

Drink 3L of coke (you have to go to Mexico first to find 3L bottles) 

Try and stand on a public bus without using hands for the entire ride. 

Learn how to wash clothes with a bar of soap and a concrete slab. 

Wear a man purse for a month 

Take salsa classes 

Learn how to make copies of keys with a grinder 

Clean the shower with a broom

Wash the street

Start putting the jalapenos in 1liter yogurt jars 

Speak chilango

Start pointing at things with your lips

Make homemade fireworks

Skin a pig, fry the skin and eat it

Hang your socks on the back part of the fridge to dry them

Yell "guero" at every white kid you see 

Enter restaurants and say "provecho" to everyone

Whistle at every girl you see walking on the street 

Listen to "Banda" 24/7 (which is music played by a Mexican brass band)

Paint your house a really bright color! 

Drive like you got hired by "fast and furious" 

Buy a vocho. (this is a car like a VW bug)

Play with trumpos. (spinning top like toys)

Dedicate all your free time to playing FIFA 2014

Eat pizza with ketchup

Put chiles on Alfredo pasta

Drink "Agua de Jamaica" 

Turn on the pilot light for the water heater every single morning

Cold showers too.

You know all the "super mega ultra wet look" hair gel? use that. 

Make out with people in the park, on a bus, on the sidewalk, through a window... 

Start selling Amway products. 

Become an "expert" in medical products, and if someone says they took something you've never heard of, tell them it doesn't work and give them more medicine

Buy 5 gallon water jugs. 

Put "Tajin" on all the fruit you eat.

.... that's all I could think of for now.... 

There you go though, some possible metas that you could follow for this year. 

Love you guys,
Elder Arvanitas

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I've corrected a lot of Nick's grammar but I left quite a few words that he writes in Spanish.  I'm thinking he's sort of stuck between two languages.  ha ha  We get to speak to him on Christmas this week.  No Skyping with him this time but I'll be happy just to hear his voice.  Merry Christmas!

Alright so whats been going on lately, 

Everything is going fine and for the stuff that's not, don't worry we'll figure it out :) 

Honestly, this being my second Christmas in the mission, it's different. I understand more things then I did a year ago. I can't explain all that I've learned in this past year. 

We had a really good experience this week. We have this "Pueblito" called Roque, like 20 mins outside of Celaya. We had plans to go there Thursday,  actually. (The only problem was that we went Tuesday, and since we couldn't find a bus, we got home at 9:50 at night.) So we decided not to go on Thursday, and planned other leccions. 

Well the other lessons fell through, as usual. What to do... well let's go to Roque then, that's what God wants. 

We walk to the bus stop, and sure enough right when we get there, the bus pulls up, pay 50 cents and get on. 

15 mins later, we get to Roque and look around for the guy that was going to be waiting for us (we were just going to leave him hanging before, we didn't have his cell) 

Guess what!? 

He never shows up. 

"now what"

We walk over to a unlit bench in a corner, sit. 

"Might as well pray" 

it went something like this. 

....look God, you brought us all the way out here, and we know it was for something, but honestly we need your help to know what... 

Stand up, get this feeling that we should enter this store, so we do. 

In about 30 seconds this little old lady walks out, and starts talking about how her brother is deathly sick in Tennessee, how she doesn't know what to do, and how she's scared that something will happen to him. 

We explain to her the situation, the fallen appointments, the bus, the prayer, and tell her that God remembers and hears her prayers, that he knows her. 

She cries, we go in and talk. She asks us when we're going to come back. 

We're going to go tomorrow.

Other than that this week was kind of a blur. I've been overwhelmed with stuff a little bit, but it's coming together though. (I think Nick is overwhelmed with being responsible for other missionaries)

Love you guys, 
Elder Arvanitas

p.s. I forgot door stoppers existed, those springy things on the wall that make funny noises. I'm excited to see them again. 

Messing around

Elder O...., Hermana M....., and Nick

Nick, President & Sister Mejorada

Monday, December 15, 2014

Staying in Celaya but getting a new comp

I got your package, and Sydney's package too, with ties in it. I'm still waiting for the 2nd package. (I sent these the first week in November)

Transfers, after this one I only got 4 left....

 I'm with Elder A....... actually, as zone leader.  Elder O.... is going to be the new assistant. (This means assistant to the Mission President)

I'll stay here until Febuary 1. I should probably just buy some property and start putting up my house.. 

I'll be honest I can't really remember what happened this week... It's all kind of a blur now.. 

We had our Christmas dinner with President. I got a picture with him smiling! That's something new right?(Nick couldn't send pictures this week because he left his camera at his house.  He was across town with other missionaries)

Then he just gave a small lesson that talked about the condescension of God, and telling us that if we worked for his company, he'd probably fire all of us, cause we say were going to complete our goals, and we never accomplish that.  

The man has got a point.. 

It's not everyday that you get to work side by side with a millionaire for 2 years though. 

Today was a relax day. I went to bed at 2 yesterday, got up at 530. I've been in divisions(he means exchanges) with Constituyentes(this is his old area in Celaya all day cause Elder O.... left in the morning. 

and umm...

Well yep, that's all I got. Love you guys, talk to you soon.

Nick couldn't write much because he was helping pack up his new companion and clean. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's beginning to look like Celaya


Sorry about last week, I didn't have time to write a regular letter cause I was busy with the essays. 

I'm not ready for college yet.. that's where all the old people go.. 

We might of crashed a business lunch party in the theater. We were walking by.....

"Hey that place looks nice" 

So we walk in, everyone is all dressed up. (The missionary outfit was the perfect disguise) Waiters just start handing us Jamaica water (it's a flower) So we stop and talk, drink our water, take a picture inside and leave. 

And no one said anything :) 

Thanksgiving dinner. Costco pizza, chicken bakes, Martinelli's Sparkling cider, and Pumpkin pie. Thanks Costco!

Incendio de las luces Every year, the lady that has the most Christmas lights in all of Celaya invites everyone to her house to watch her turn on the lights for the first time that year. 

It was cold, like 45 degrees I think.. who knows what I'll do when I get back. (good thing he comes home in the Summer)

Held a 3rd zone meeting. I'm getting pretty good at these things. (and humble too.  Oh Nicky)

As for the schedule for this week. Wednesday is our dinner with President, with a white elephant gift. Last year I gave socks, this year, a Luchador mask. 

Thats all I got though. We are working with people but they're kind of off and on. It's hard. 

Love you guys though, see you next week! bye

Elder Arvanitas

Monday, December 1, 2014


Nick is letting me send out some things he had to write for his college applications.  Because he wrote these he really didn't have time to write a long letter.  He wrote a little something at the end.  

I firmly believe that someone who has never served a mission will never truly know what it is like. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done. 
     John, the apostle in the bible states that "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
    For a while I misunderstood this. I think it was my dream as a kid to grow up and be a superhero, and die heroically, saving the world. Maybe have a statue built in my honor or something. 
     As I have grown older though, I have realized that it is less about putting my life on the altar of sacrifice and more about sacrificing my time. To consecrate my life, and give service to the people I hold most dear. Trying to, as George Albert Smith said "warn the people … in as kind a way as possible that repentance will be the only panacea for the ills of this world."
      Doing my part in the Army of God. It is a battle everyday. The devil is real, and he doesn't like to lose. It is a constant fight through homesickness, depression, failure and stress. 
     But looking past all that, it has been the happiest time of my life. I have forgotten about what I have wanted, and become the person God wants me to be. It has made all the difference in my life. 

I have spent the past few months reflecting a lot. My time here in Mexico as a missionary is ending. I have been away for 16 months, and in another short 8 months I will be back home.
     The question that has been on my mind is what changes do I need to make in my life when I get home.
Jeffrey R. Holland once said about the act of reflecting that “we look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn then we look ahead..”
What has been the greatest blessing from these past 16 months, is the overwhelming desire to be better. To nurture the gifts I have been blessed with, and cultivate those which I lack.
When Jesus Christ came to the earth he taught of forgiveness and change. His gospel was never one of everlasting punishments, but of repentance, giving us, his brothers and sisters, the opportunity to start over.
This opportunity has meant everything to me. I know I can't be the same when I get back. I can't live the same life as conformity.  I believe everyone was made for greatness, and that’s what I am going to search for. And when I get there, I am going to help everyone else be there with me. 

Hey sorry, I didn't have time to write today, todo lo con mi aplicacion. But I did have a Thanksgiving. We went for Costco Hawaiian pizza, chicken bakes, pumpkin pie, and Martinelli's sparkling cider. Elder C......'s mom from Park City bought it all. He's a funny kid. If you want just put up my essays for my letter.